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File Mary

nyoka eden

She is Mary, not one to chase the bizarre. She allows it to detect her, calmly waits for it to pass, goes home and lays a dead hen body in a steel pot of boiling water. What she seasons the flesh with is irrelevant. The act itself is a simulacrum, a thing in place of the real thing. Her promenade is immense, all-consuming. In public parks, public buildings, public streets, public spaces, she knows all. She pulls the drag of another world entirely and it pulls on her and it pulls on every one though she is alone.

“Why am I always so concerned about the water?

The maniacal wind in the evenings shuts me to sleep.

I am arrested and found bondlying the meech.

Come with me now, child—

I can show you extraordinary things like failures and this brown wood.

Maybe we could find the sheep if it wasn't for the pond.

Stealing up recipes on broken backs, giving you all I've got.

I am a man now. I am full of red and biting charm.

It's a fallen word, broken drumskin word, air escaped.

I am cow, I am mad, I am everything you never had.

I can be pop. I can be pop. I. Can. Be. Pop.”

In the break room, the scrubbed women rotate, chewing blankly, thumbs flicking glass and Mary, she fills her mouth with saliva. White breast, tender and oily. She consumes the thing softly, picturing a bitch holding a bird in her mouth unharmed. The hospital is full of windows. She licks them clean in her dreams, outside and in. Her tongue is always flicking glass. The Analyst says this means something. She takes tiny bytes of Mary twice a week. She lays the remains in a pale blue file, pale and thin like her porcelain skin, a real file, the one Mary intends to read. The Analyst asks Mary to start from the beginning, missing the groove in the lock entirely.

Mary confesses she believes in all things, even The Analyst's white snakeskin boots. Mary confesses she feels ancient and estranged from the world because she craves the real thing. Mary confesses she knows living has become an act of desperation and ex vivo machines are keeping organs alive under fluorescent light. The Analyst asks mostly motionless questions. Humans in zoos often do. Mary does not confess her plan. She cuts the session and The Analyst's life short with the same shears, calmly excises her heart, arrives home, and snips fresh thyme from the bush. The blood on her hands dries rosy and thin in the powerful light of the sun. She does not hide it. She does not wipe it away. Inside, the blank-faced television lifts its chin, staring blankly, seeming softer only through the glass and Mary, she freezes the Analyst's still-warm heart. She is Mary, not one to move the hand of God from the small of her back.

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nyoka eden is an intuitive consultant. Her writing has been featured in Arcturus, Maudlin House, APARTMENT Poetry, Idle Ink, and Witch Craft Magazine, among others. Her website is